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Adopting a Child? Bring Home Tax Savings with Your Bundle of Joy

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If you’re adopting a child, or you adopted one this year, there may be significant tax benefits available to offset the expenses. For 2019, adoptive parents may be able to claim a nonrefundable credit against their federal tax for up to $14,080 of “qualified adoption expenses” for each adopted child. (This amount is increasing to $14,300 for 2020.) That’s a dollar-for-dollar reduction of tax — the equivalent, for someone in the 24% marginal tax bracket, of a deduction of over $50,000.

Adoptive parents may also be able to exclude from their gross income up to $14,080 for 2019 ($14,300 for 2020) of qualified adoption expenses paid by an employer under an adoption assistance program. Both the credit and the exclusion are phased out if the parents’ income exceeds certain limits, as explained below.

Adoptive parents may claim both a credit and an exclusion for expenses of adopting a child. But they can’t claim both a credit and an exclusion for the same expense.

By |January 13th, 2020|adoption credit|0 Comments

What Lenders Look for in a Succession Plan

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Business owners are urged to create succession plans for the good of their families and their employees. But there’s someone else who holds a key interest in the longevity of your company: Your lender.

If you want to maintain a clear path to acquiring the working capital your business may need after you’ve stepped down, it’s important to keep your lender apprised of your progress in putting a carefully considered succession plan in place.

A viable successor

One key operational issue that lenders look for in a succession plan to address is, simply, who will lead the enterprise after you? For family-owned businesses, finding a successor can be difficult. Children or other relatives may be qualified but have no interest in taking the reins. Or they may want to be involved but have insufficient experience.

To reassure your lender about issues such as these, take the time to identify and nurture future leaders. […]

By |January 13th, 2020|succession planning|0 Comments

2020 Q1 Tax Calendar: Key Deadlines for Businesses and Other Employers

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Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the first quarter of 2020. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements.

January 31

  • File 2019 Forms W-2, “Wage and Tax Statement,” with the Social Security Administration and provide copies to your employees.
  • Provide copies of 2019 Forms 1099-MISC, “Miscellaneous Income,” to recipients of income from your business where required.
  • File 2019 Forms 1099-MISC reporting nonemployee compensation payments in Box 7 with the IRS.
  • File Form 940, “Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return,” for 2019. If your undeposited tax is $500 or less, you can either pay it with your return or deposit it. If it’s more than $500, you must deposit it. However, if you deposited the tax for the year in full and on time, you have until February 10 to file the return.
  • File Form 941, “Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return,” to report Medicare, Social Security and income taxes withheld in the fourth quarter of 2019. If your tax liability is […]
By |January 10th, 2020|business|0 Comments

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Business for the New Year

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The end of one year and the beginning of the next is a great opportunity for reflection and planning. You have 12 months to look back on and another 12 ahead to look forward to. Here are five ways to strengthen your business for the new year by doing a little of both:

1. Compare 2019 financial performance to budget. Did you meet the financial goals you set at the beginning of the year? If not, why? Analyze variances between budget and actual results. Then, evaluate what changes you could make to get closer to achieving your objectives in 2020. And if you did meet your goals, identify precisely what you did right and build on those strategies.

2. Create a multiyear capital budget. Look around your offices or facilities at your equipment, software and people. What investments will you need to make to grow your business? Such investments can be both tangible (new equipment […]

By |January 10th, 2020|business|0 Comments

Giving Back During the Holidays at the Redwood Empire Food Bank

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On Tuesday, December 3rd, the team from Linkenheimer, along with significant others and kids, met up after work at the Redwood Empire Food Bank to lend a helping hand. Holiday months are always tough for REFB in terms of finding volunteers, so we were excited to be able to participate and assist a great local non-profit that has been serving Sonoma County for over a decade, providing meals to elderly, children and those in need. Over the course of our two hours there, we formed into teams to put to sort through and box bread and baked goods. In total, we boxed 3, 697 lbs of bread to be sent out in the community. This helps provide over 2,900 meals to be distributed to our neighbors in need. Local charities like these are what makes Sonoma County such a great place to live and do business in and we are proud to support them. So during these busy holiday months, we encourage everyone to take some time and think about how they can give back and help those less fortunate. If everyone does a little, the impact can be huge. Happy Holidays from the Linkenheimer […]

By |December 12th, 2019|Community|0 Comments

3 Last-Minute Tips That May Help Trim Your Tax Bill

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If you’re starting to fret about your 2019 tax bill, there’s good news — you may still have time to reduce your liability. Three strategies are available that may help you cut your taxes before year-end, including:

1. Accelerate deductions/defer income. Certain tax deductions are claimed for the year of payment, such as the mortgage interest deduction. So, if you make your January 2020 payment this month, you can deduct the interest portion on your 2019 tax return (assuming you itemize).

Pushing income into the new year also will reduce your taxable income. If you’re expecting a bonus at work, for example, and you don’t want the income this year, ask if your employer can hold off on paying it until January. If you’re self-employed, you can delay your invoices until late in December to divert the revenue to 2020.

You shouldn’t pursue this approach if you expect to land in a higher tax […]

By |December 11th, 2019|deduction, deductions, investment, retirement, tax planning|0 Comments

Do You Have a California Business That Collects Sales Tax?

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California businesses that collect sales tax from customers must correctly report the sales and remit the tax on time or face a possible 25% fraud penalty. The CA Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) found that one restaurant owner significantly underreported sales and underpaid the related sales tax. On that basis, the CDTFA determined that he was not only subject to the 25% fraud penalty, but that he also met the criteria for a higher penalty of 40%. That is, evidence showed he knowingly collected sales tax to be remitted and failed to remit the full tax collected; also, the amount exceeded an established threshold. The CA Office of Tax Appeals upheld the penalty. If you have questions, please contact your Linkenheimer CPA.

By |December 11th, 2019|business, ca, CA tax, sales tax|0 Comments

Medical Expenses: What It Takes to Qualify for a Tax Deduction

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As we all know, medical services and prescription drugs are expensive. You may be able to deduct some of your expenses on your tax return but the rules make it difficult for many people to qualify. However, with proper planning, you may be able to time discretionary medical expenses to your advantage for tax purposes.

The basic rules

For 2019, the medical expense deduction can only be claimed to the extent your unreimbursed costs exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). You also must itemize deductions on your return.

If your total itemized deductions for 2019 will exceed your standard deduction, moving or “bunching” non-urgent medical procedures and other controllable expenses into 2019 may allow you to exceed the 10% floor and benefit from the medical expense deduction. Controllable expenses include refilling prescription drugs, buying eyeglasses and contact lenses, going to the dentist and getting elective surgery.

In addition to hospital and […]

By |December 6th, 2019|deduction, deductions, expensing, medical deduction|0 Comments

Minimum Wage Raised in City of Petaluma

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A local minimum wage raise is coming for employees of the City of Petaluma. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, the hourly minimum wage rate for employers with 26 or more employees will be $15.00, and $14.00 for employers with fewer than 26 employees. By ordinance, the minimum wage must be adjusted annually, based on the Bay Area Consumer Price Index. This ordinance applies to all employees who work two or more hours per week in Petaluma and are covered by state minimum wage law. It doesn’t apply to federal, state or county agencies or school districts. A youth minimum wage rate applies to those who are ages 14 to 17 during the first 160 hours of employment in occupations new to them. If you have any questions, please contact your Linkenheimer CPA.

By |December 3rd, 2019|ca, CA tax, california|0 Comments

2 Valuable Year-End Tax-Saving Tools for Your Business

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At this time of year, many business owners ask if there’s anything they can do to save tax for the year. Under current tax law, there are two valuable depreciation-related tax breaks that may help your business reduce its 2019 tax liability. To benefit from these deductions, you must buy eligible machinery, equipment, furniture or other assets and place them into service by the end of the tax year. In other words, you can claim a full deduction for 2019 even if you acquire assets and place them in service during the last days of the year.

The Section 179 deduction

Under Section 179, you can deduct (or expense) up to 100% of the cost of qualifying assets in Year 1 instead of depreciating the cost over a number of years. For tax years beginning in 2019, the expensing limit is $1,020,000. The deduction begins to phase out on a dollar-for-dollar basis for 2019 when total asset acquisitions for the year exceed $2,550,000.

Sec. 179 expensing is generally available for most depreciable property (other than buildings) and off-the-shelf computer software. It’s also available for:

  • Qualified improvement property (generally, any interior improvement to a building’s interior, […]
By |December 3rd, 2019|bonus, depreciation, expensing, section 179|0 Comments